Pro and Con 1380

Posted 1-2-08

Incoming e-mail, Re: date of April 26, 2008

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Dear Mrs. Agee: For your information, April 26th, 2008 is Holy Saturday on the Orthodox Christian calendar. On this day, we will be commemorating our Lord’s Sabbath Rest (His body was at rest in the tomb), and we also commemorate the “freeing of the captives” in Hades (i.e., the raising of Adam and Eve and all of the righteous men and women who had died in before His Crucifixion), the destruction of the Gates of Hades, and the binding of Satan and his demonic spirits. Also, at noon on Saturday, April 26th, at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the miraculous phenomenon of the Holy Light occurs.

(please see: http://www.holylight.gr/agiofos/holyli.html

and http://www.holyfire.org/eng/

and http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.holyfire.org/image/kolonna2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.holyfire.org/eng/video.htm&h=843&w=667&sz=84&hl=en&start=163&tbnid=EragMP_8r27hFM:&tbnh=145&tbnw=115&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dchurch%2Bof%2Bthe%2Bholy%2Bsepulchre%26start%3D160%26gbv%3D2%26ndsp%3D20%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN)

All of the Orthodox Churches also celebrate a Divine Liturgy on the morning of Saturday (although in ancient times it was celebrated on the evening between Friday and Saturday); this service is essentially a Resurrectional Liturgy – it is the “presentiment” of the Resurrection, and the texts of the hymns all celebrate Christ Jesus’ descent into the depths of Hades, the harrowing of Hell, and the Victory of Christ God over our ancient Enemy. At one point in the service, the Priest takes the flower petals (from the flowers that had decorated the Holy Bier) mixed with bay leaves (symbolic of the Kingship of Jesus Christ) and makes a procession around the Church, strewing these symbols of blessedness and victory. This takes place immediately after the reading from Romans (6:3-11) and before the reading from the Gospel (Matthew 28:1-20). Just prior to the taking up of the petals, the chanters will have finished reading the Prophecy of Daniel (Daniel 3:1-57) and will have sung the Hymn of the Three Holy Youths, finishing with the hymn of Baptism (“As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia!”) During the time when the Priest is strewing the flowers, the chanters and choir are singing the following: “Arise, O God, judge Thou the earth, for Thou shalt inherit all the nations! God hath stood in the congregation of the gods, and being in the midst of them, He judgeth the gods. Arise, O God, judge Thou the earth, for Thou shalt inherit all the nations! … They have not known nor understood; they walk on in darkness; all the foundations of the earth shall be moved. Arise, O God, judge Thou the earth, for Thou shalt inherit all the nations! I have said: You are gods and all sons of the Most High; but you, like men, shall die; and shall fall like one of the princes. Arise, O God, judge Thou the earth, for Thou shalt inherit all the nations!” The liturgy then proceeds to the Eucharistic canon. At the end of this service, the Priest, for the first time, proclaims: “Christ is Risen!” to which the people respond, “Truly, He is Risen!”

At 6:00pm (i.e., sunset) on Saturday, April 26th, the Lord’s Holy Resurrection will be proclaimed and the Divine Liturgy for the Resurrection will be celebrated. Part of this service (before the actual beginning of the Divine Liturgy) has all of the people receive the Holy Light from the Priest (this is a re-presentation of the event that had happened earlier in the day at the Holy Sepulcher). Just before this occurs, the Church is darkened and the chanters sing the Odes. Here are some of the verses that are sung:

“An ineffable wonder! He who saved the righteous youths from the fire of the furnace, hath been placed in the grave, a breathless corpse, for our salvation and deliverance, who sing, Blessed art thou, O delivering God…Verily, Hades was pierced and destroyed by the Divine Fire when it received in its heart Him who was pierced in His side with a spear for our salvation, who sing, Blessed art Thou, O delivering God…The tomb is happy, having become divine when it received within it the Treasure of Life, the Creator, as one who slumbereth for our salvation, who sing, Blessed art thou, O delivering God…The Life of all was willing to lie in a grave, in accordance with the Law, making it appear as the fountain of the resurrection of our salvation, who sing, Blessed art Thou, O delivering God…The Godhead of Christ was one without separation: in hades, and in the tomb, and in Eden, and with the Father, and the Spirit; all for our salvation, who sing, Blessed art Thou, O delivering God…Be thou amazed, O heaven, and let the foundations of the earth quake; for behold, He who dwellest in the highest hath been accounted among the dead, and hath been guest in a humble tomb. Wherefore, O ye youths, bless Him; praise Him, ye priests; and all the nations, exalt Him more and more unto all the Ages!...The pure Temple hath been destroyed, then rising, He raised with Him the fallen tabernacle; for the second Adam, who dwellest in the highest, hath descended unto the first Adam in the uttermost chambers of hades; Wherefore, ye youths, bless Him; praise Him, ye priests; and all the nations, exalt Him more and more unto all the Ages!”

They hymns continue for a bit more, then the Priest, from the Holy Altar, sings, “When Thou didst submit Thyself unto Death, O Thou deathless and immortal ONE, then Thou didst destroy Hell with Thy Godly power; and when Thou didst raise the dead from beneath the earth, all the powers of Heaven did cry aloud unto Thee, O Christ, Thou giver of Life: Glory to Thee!” Then the Priest lights his taper from the Lamp of the Tabernacle, and comes out from the Holy Place with the lighted taper, singing: “Come receive ye light from the Light, which is never overcome by night; Come, glorify the Christ ,Who hath risen from the dead!” All of the faithful come forward and light their tapers.

Then the Priest leads the people out of the Church in procession. Outside, they gather around the main door, which is closed. Then there are prayers, and the reading of the Holy Gospel from Mark (16:1-8). Then there is a proclamation by the Priest: “Glory to the Holy, Consubstantial, Life-giving and Undivided Trinity: always, now and ever, and unto ages of Ages! AMEN! Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down Death by death; and upon those in the tombs bestowing Life! (3 times)” Then as he censes the people, he begins the singing of the Resurrectional Hymn, which begins: “Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered; and let those who hate Him flee from before His face!...This is the Day which the Lord has make; let us rejoice and be glad in it!...”

Then the Priest takes up the Blessing Cross, and approaches the closed doors. He knocks on the doors with the Cross three times and proclaims: “Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be lifted up, O ye everlasting doors, for the King of Glory shall come in!” One person has remained inside the closed doors, and he answers: “Who is this King of Glory?” The Priest responds: “The LORD, strong and mighty; the LORD, mighty in battle!” This dialogue is repeated three times, finally at the third question: “Who is this King of Glory?” the Priest responds: “The LORD, strong and mighty; the LORD, mighty in battle! He is the LORD of Hosts! He is the King of Glory!” At that, the doors are flung open, and the choir and the people burst out singing: “O Christ is Risen from the dead, trampling down Death by death; and upon on those in the tombs, bestowing Life!” and everyone returns into the Church , which is now no longer in darkness, but is ablaze with light. Then there are many more prayers, and finally the Resurrectional Liturgy begins. Usually, the timing is such that the Faithful receive the Holy Eucharist about midnight.

So, your speculation about the pre-tribulation gathering of the saints together in the air with Christ our Lord on April 26th, certainly has liturgical significance in the Holy Orthodox Church.

I am,
Sincerely yours,
In the service of our Lord Jesus Christ,
The unworthy priest, Gregory-Lazarus
The Rev'd Fr. Gregory-Lazarus Murphy
Pastor of St. Michael's Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church
Church address: 98 Genesee Street, POB 185, Geneva, NY 14456

My reply

> > For your information, April 26th, 2008 is Holy Saturday on the Orthodox Christian calendar. On this day, we will be commemorating our Lord’s Sabbath Rest (His body was at rest in the tomb), and we also commemorate the “freeing of the captives” in Hades (i.e., the raising of Adam and Eve and all of the righteous men and women who had died in before His Crucifixion), the destruction of the Gates of Hades, and the binding of Satan and his demonic spirits. Also, at noon on Saturday, April 26th, at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the miraculous phenomenon of the Holy Light occurs.

Wow! Thanks. I have never heard of this miracle before. If the Rapture takes place that day, the greater miracle would be marked in Jerusalem by this Holy Light that later turns to Fire. Agape

Description of the Miracle of Holy Light (Holy Fire) that happens every year in Jerusalem

http://www.holyfire.org:80/eng/

Where and when does the miracle occur?
The ceremony, which awes the souls of Christians, takes place in the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem. The date for Pascha is determined anew for every year. It must be a first Sunday after the spring equinox and Jewish Passover. Therefore, most of the time it differs from the date of Catholic and Protestant Easter, which is determined using different criteria. The Holy Fire is the most renowned miracle in the world of Eastern Orthodoxy. It has taken place at the same time, in the same manner, in the same place every single year for centuries. No other miracle is known to occur so regularly and so steadily over time.... It happens in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the holiest place on earth[2], where Christ was crucified, entombed, and where He finally rose from the dead....

How the miracle occurs
"I enter the tomb and kneel in holy fear in front of the place where Christ lay after His death and where He rose again from the dead... (narrates Orthodox Patriarch Diodor - ed.). I find my way through the darkness towards the inner chamber in which I fall on my knees. Here I say certain prayers that have been handed down to us through the centuries and, having said them, I wait. Sometimes I may wait a few minutes, but normally the miracle happens immediately after I have said the prayers. From the core of the very stone on which Jesus lay an indefinable light pours forth. It usually has a blue tint, but the colour may change and take many different hues. It cannot be described in human terms. The light rises out of the stone as mist may rise out of a lake — it almost looks as if the stone is covered by a moist cloud, but it is light. This light each year behaves differently. Sometimes it covers just the stone, while other times it gives light to the whole sepulchre, so that people who stand outside the tomb and look into it will see it filled with light. The light does not burn — I have never had my beard burnt in all the sixteen years I have been Patriarch in Jerusalem and have received the Holy Fire. The light is of a different consistency than normal fire that burns in an oil lamp... At a certain point the light rises and forms a column in which the fire is of a different nature, so that I am able to light my candles from it....

How old is the wonder?
The first written account of the Holy Fire (Holy Light) dates from the fourth century, but authors write about events that occurred in the first century. So Ss. John Damascene and Gregory of Nissa narrate how the Apostle Peter saw the Holy Light in the Holy Sepulchre after Christ's resurrection....

"Once the Armenians (monophysites - ed.) paid the Turks, who then occupied the Holy Land, in order to obtain permission for their Patriarch to enter the Holy Sepulchre, the Orthodox Patriarch was standing sorrowfully with his flock at the exit of the church, near the left column, when the Holy Light split this column vertically and flashed near the Orthodox Patriarch.

Ancient Egyptian Glassmaking Recreated

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071214094026.htm

ScienceDaily (Dec. 21, 2007) — A team led by a Cardiff University archaeologist has reconstructed a 3,000-year-old glass furnace, showing that Ancient Egyptian glassmaking methods were much more advanced than previously thought.

Incoming e-mail, Re: Your latest webpage (intro.)

I wanted to relate a brief experience which I had on the evening of the 26th; day after Christmas. I looked toward the Southwest sky--probably where you say Saturn will be or perhaps Regulus and alike-anyway I saw what appeared to be a light as bright as a planet for say 15 or 20 seconds; looked down into my car for something for less than 10 seconds; looked up and it was gone. Wouldn't have seemed too odd except for the same time of evening the same thing happened about 10 years ago (that was in May I believe). It was apparently in the same part of the sky as well; about 45 degrees or a bit more up in the sky; perhaps this last time was a bit lower if the earth's rotation is taken into consideration for this time of year; anyway was about the same location. It is interesting about the 2 months exactly till this coming eclipse; especially since the last few weeks I have felt something confirming about the Rapture could happen that month; and with 120 days from the 26th until April; well that is even more interesting.

I certainly want to be prepared for all possibilities. Like I have said many times before; if I were certain this was it--I would certainly like to go out and just preach for a while; despite all the advice we should consider if it isn't a certainty--I suppose preaching is a good idea anyway; even if He does tarry; as long as we have our lives in His Will. Still; no one knows the day or the hour...perhaps like Noah we can but I won't be certain until it happens unless something else happens.

Well; just thought you should know. I wonder too; if there ever is confirmation; should we even bother warning other believers; or if it is going to be to late to acquire the oil of the Spirit to be raptured; so to speak. Seems we should look for 11th hour converts; if I am reading things right in the Spirit.

Please keep me posted; Lord willing I will get to check my mail on occasion. Still very stressful in my life here; although God has blessed me through my new prayer group; prayer with new believers who have come into my life; a ride home from a stranger after oversleeping on the bus today; etc. God bless

My reply

> > Still; no one knows the day or the hour

In English, "knows" is in the PRESENT tense. No one knew on that day. The Hebrew word is "eido," of which Strong's says, "A primary verb; used only in certain PAST TENSES." Up to that time, no man knew. It has nothing to do with what we can know today. Dan. 12:10 says, "Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but THE WISE SHALL UNDERSTAND."

I can be wrong. I am not a prophet. However, I hope I will be among the wise who shall understand. I told the Lord long ago that I want to understand the Bible, all the deep things, everything. Ever since at least 1960, I have been trying my best to understand.

Mt. 24:32-37 gives us the fig tree parable. It says, "Now learn a parable of the fig tree (Israel; Joel 1:6,7); When his branch (klados, scion broken off for grafting, i.e., modern Israel) is yet tender (klados, young, i.e., no more than 19, which she was in 1967), and putteth forth leaves (Gaza Strip, Sinai, West Bank, and Golen Heights, in the Six-Day War of 1967), ye know that summer is nigh (the war started June 6; summer started June 21): So likewise ye, WHEN YE SHALL SEE ALL THESE THINGS, KNOW THAT IT (THE KINGDOM OF GOD, LUKE 21:28) IS NEAR, even at the doors (symbol of the two Raptures, Rev. 3:8). Verily I say unto you, This generation (starting no later than 1967) shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth (eido) no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."

Luke 21:25-31 says, "And THERE SHALL BE SIGNS in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars (for some of these, see my home page; for now, think of the 22 comet pieces that hit Jupiter); and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring (think of the huge tsunami in the Indian Ocean); Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken (i.e., Satan and his angels are cast down to Earth Mid-Trib). And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory (i.e., the Sign of the Son of Man seen in the sky at the end of the shortened Tribulation). And when these things begin to come to pass (i.e., when the comet pieces hit Jupiter), then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree (Israel), and all the trees (other nations); When they now shoot forth (i.e., in the Six-Day War), ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand (the Six-Day War was June 5-10, summer was June 21). So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that THE KINGDOM OF GOD is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled."

The generation in sight is the one that started in 1967, no later, or Israel could not be counted as being young. There are two lengths for a generation, the 40 years that the Israelites wandered in the desert while the older generation died off, and 48.33 years, from Mt. 1:17. The years between 40 and 48.33 years seem to be "THE TIME OF THE END" mentioned in Daniel.

Dan. 12:8-10 says, "And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and SEALED TILL THE TIME OF THE END. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but THE WISE SHALL UNDERSTAND."

When do you think the wise can understand? When do you think the time of the end will start? Will it start 40 years from 1967? That would be 2007. We are almost through 2007 now. The Six-Day War was in the Jewish 5727. Add 40 to that and we get 5767. That year ended as Sept. 13, 2007 arrived. We are past the 40-year mark. Doesn't that put us in the time of the end? If so, this is when the wise shall understand.

What about the four months before harvest when the barley is already white? From Dec. 26, 2007 to April 26, 2008 is four months. John 4:35: "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest."

Thanks for telling me about the lights you saw in the sky. It is hard for me to know whether they were a sign or not. You be the judge of that. I live near March Air Force Base, and see landing lights from planes and helicopters that wink off as they turn away from me. They could turn on those lights and then turn them off, maybe testing to see if they do any good in the waning light. Agape

His reply

light was not moving; appeared still as planet-and distant without flickering.

My reply

Then it could be a sign. I think the open door I saw in the sky was a sign. It was too perfect, like a cookie cutter cut it out. Holes in dark clouds are not usually that precise. We are getting warnings now because the Rapture is drawing near, and it will not tarry.

Incoming e-mail, Re: Is April 26, 2008 the day of the Pre-Trib Rapture?

In the scenario you gave below here is my concern. The men were circumcised a day or so before Passover. Wouldn't they have needed a few weeks to recuperate......certainly at least a couple of weeks.....before they would have considered marching to Jericho for a possible battle? In fact when the walls fell, they evidently did have to fight hand to hand.......

This would mean that by Nisan 21 they would not have sufficiently recovered to do hand to hand combat.

Yet, I do agree with you that the overcomers are going to be of the barley harvest........not the wheat harvest.

My reply

We have to go by what the Bible says. In the original editions, it was 100% true. Even in modern translations, there are very very few errors. The scribes left no stone unturned to copy it correctly. They counted every letter on a page. If A page they had just copied did not have the same number of letters as the original, they threw it out and started over. We can compare different translations too. Here is the LITV translation. We can figure the date that Jericho fell from this information. It fell on Nisan 21.

Joshua 4:19 says, "And the people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth of the first month (i.e., NISAN 10, the day the lambs were chosen for Passover), and camped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.

Joshua 5:7-10 says, "And He raised their sons up in their place. Joshua circumcised them, for they had been uncircumcised; for they had not been circumcised in the way. And it happened, when all the nation had finished being circumcised, they remained in their places in the camp until they revived. And Jehovah said to Joshua, Today I have rolled the reproach of Egypt off of you. And he called the name of that place Gilgal to this day. And the sons of Israel camped in Gilgal, and prepared the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month (NISAN 14), at evening (i.e., as NISAN 14 BEGAN at 6 PM on Nisan 13), in the plains of Jericho."

Joshua 6:2-4 says, "And Jehovah said to Joshua, See I have given Jericho and its king, mighty warriors, into your hand. And you shall go around the city, all the men of battle, going around the city once; so you shall do six days (i.e., NISAN 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20). And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark. And on the seventh day (NISAN 21) you shall go around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the rams' horns."

Joshua 6:14-17 says, "And they circled the city on the second day one time, and returned to the camp. So they did six days. And it happened on the seventh day, they rose early, at the dawning of the day, and went around the city seven times in the same way. Only on that day they circled the city seven times. And it happened at the seventh time the priests blew with the rams' horns. And Joshua said to the people, Shout! For Jehovah has given you the city. And the city shall be devoted to Jehovah, it and all that are in it".

The 7th day has to be NISAN 21. That is when Jericho was given to the Israelites when the trumpets sounded and the people gave a great shout.

To emphasize the 40 years, God walled up the Red Sea on Nisan 15 as the Israelites came out of Egypt and walled up the Jordan River as they crossed over on Nisan 10 into the Promised Land 40 years later.

To emphasize the date of Nisan 21, God had the Israelites circle the city of Jericho (meaning his month, i.e., Nisan, month of the Crucifixion, Resurrection and Second Advent) six days. Then on the 7th day, which was Nisan 21, they circled Jericho 7 times and gave a great shout as the walls fell down. The Israelites then went straight up into the city. Do you think Jericho stood for New Jerusalem? Will we go straight up into New Jerusalem at the Rapture? I think we will go up on Nisan 21, the 7th day of Unleavened Bread in the 6th day of barley harvest. Agape

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